Tag Archive: peace


The primary prevention committee went out and spread peace at the Largo Touch a truck!!!

It started with a pretty simple idea:

Get kids to draw and color what they think peace is. Then ask them to let us display it for all to see, so that everyone sees what peace really looks like.

So we started with this:

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We asked the City of Largo, FL USA to allow us to have a table at an event called Touch a Truck.  This is an event where tons of people, and especially kids, come to the park and get to get in and explore tons of awesome vehicles like Firetrucks, Ambulance, Sky crane, Semi truck, Dumptruck, Garbage Truck, City bus, there was even a Helicopter that flew in.

We asked kids and adults if they wanted to color what their peaceful place looked like. A few people came over, and colored a picture, and promptly took it with them. We asked each person if they’d like to keep it or let us display it for everyone to see.

Our wall of peace started slow:

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Then it began to build and more and more people started to show up. It was amazing!!!

As the kids drew, we asked them what peace looked like to them. They gave us amazingly awesome answers:

“when I’m happy”

“when there’s no hitting”

“when everyone is getting along.”

“when we are all smiling”

“when I like me”

As we asked them, we also asked the parents and they gave great answers as well.

“In the bathtub”

“relaxing on my front porch”

“when multiple generations and nationalities get together.”

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There was one moment that just amazed me. There were 6 languages Russian, Arabic, Czech, Albanian, Spanish, and English all being spoken at the same time. All of the people were laughing, drawing, helping their children, and helping eachother.

Moms and dads both were helping their children. The kids were showing parents who really didn’t want to be there, that they had displayed their art on this “awesome” peace wall. They showed their relatives, their friends, and everyone they could. That was their stuff and they were helping create peace.

Everyone at the booth: Frieda, Shelba, Dawna, Prisscila, Chad, MJ, E.V, Jacob all helped everyone realize what peace was for them. We talked to them about what a healthy relationship looked like. We talked to the adults and the kids about how to create peace and nonviolence in our homes, our lives, and in our community.

More and more kids and adults gave us their pictures. They put feathers on them, they colored with markers and crayons, the glitter ran out, the stickers ran out, and there was more joy and happiness than many people have ever felt in their life.

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This is what the primary prevention committee does. We come together to prevent violence, promote peace and healthy relationships, and bring that message to our community.

In the end, over 200 people were at our table talking about, seeing, feeling, and experiencing what true peace really is.

This does not include the 100’s of people that walked by the booth, saw the pictures and were compelled to comment about how wonderful this is! With this event we have affected hundreds of people!

 

 

 

 

 

One billion rising

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Genital mutilation because women do not need to feel pleasure during sex.

Domestic Violence because a woman should know her place.

Human Trafficking because women are just there for men’s pleasure and to work.

Forced labor because that’s what women are supoose to do while the men lead them.

Forced capture because women don’t need to do anythigjn but have babies, take care of the babies, and take care of their man.

Mysogyny because women are not as good as men

Force wage discrimination because a woman does not worth as much as men.

Sexism because women are seen as mere objects, not living human beings.

Rape because women are only here for a man’s pleasure.

These are the pervasive beliefs around the world towards the female gender.

The same gender that populates more of the world by 2%.

The same gender that creates life.

The same gender that has been creating what every one of us craves since the beginning of time (no matter what else she does) – A Home.

The same gender that gets recognized on poster boards, lips, and screams every time a camera is at a sports event or in a crowd.

The same gender that has fought for equality for their entire existence.

The same gender that has uplifted every single one of us.

ibWhy is this acceptable?  It’s not!

On February 14th, world wide, billions of men and women will stand up, dance, and speak out and say in one unified voice…

NO! WE will not stand for this violence against women anymore.

Violence against women will end…NOW!

All Violence(verbal, mental, physical, sexual) against women must end!

 

Go to this link.  One billion rising is an organization dedicated to stopping worldwide violence agasisnt women. This organization was created by Eve Ensler, a advocatre against gender violence, writer, poet, and creator of The Vagina Monologues. Do something. Learn the dance, make a video, start a march, a campaign, whatever….we must do something!  Become part of the one billion rising movement.

Boobs for boots and a dog.

 

All I can ask is WHY?  WHY? WHY? WHY?

I go and speak to students all the time and explain that we CAN NOT see women as just body parts, we have to see them as whole thinking individuals. (As i just typed that I realized how ridiculous it is that we don’t see women like that!)

We can’t just look at their breasts.

We can’t just look at their butt.

A woman’s body parts are not what is the most important part of them.

Then there are 1000’s of commercials just like this.

Boots….boots…really?  that’s what this commercial is for?  I would have thought it was for a breast augmentation company or a bra company…both companies would make sense.

But boots?  Really?

Start writing e-mails to these companies that portray women like this, and then write the actress who thought this was ok. The more we make our voice heard, the more we can influence and change the way things are.

This is yet another ad by the axe (Unilever company that also makes DOVE and many other pro-women products) company that reduces women to merely breasts. Surprise surprise.

BUT wait…it also reduces men to just hair.

What does this say?  Men only see women as a pair of breasts AND women only see men as a head of hair.

This is truly a low for our society. In order to sell a product we are allowed to show women and men as only a body part. But not just a body part, a cut up body part.

Cut up?

Yep, that’s right. Cut up. What advertising has been doing to women for years, cutting out their full body to show just a piece of them. We see a shirt being modeled by a woman, and instead of seeing a woman wearing the shirt, we only see a torso with a shirt on…making sure to focus on the breasts by making the shirt 3 sizes too small. This happens with everything…look around, chopping of women’s bodies is all over the advertising world.

But, what does the advertising world have to say about this commercial?  They love it!  As they say…it works.

They explain that this commercial is great because it shows what really happens when two people meet.  “Axe is trying to do here is help make you look your best when you first approach the object of your desire. And, yes, that person is just an object at that point. You haven’t spoken. You haven’t exchanged pleasantries. You haven’t even heard the other person’s voice. For all you know the person could turn out to be an idiot.”

Now did you notice that….they are saying that when you first see a person they are only an object. What!!!!

We should never see a person as just an object of a desire. We should never see a person, male or female, as merely the body parts that they have. People should be seen as people!  Living, breathing, feeling – people. This si the exact idea, thought, and belief that promotes violence towards someone else. This is the exact idea, thought, and belief that promotes domestic violence and gender atrocities. If we see a person as an “object of our desire”, we don’t care how we treat them because they are just an object…they are nothing more than a body part.

These are the ideas and thoughts we must strive to end.

Opt 4 no objectification of people.

Opt 4 seeing people as living, breathing, feeling, human beings.

Opt 4 seeing people as real people.

Opt 4 seeing people as someone’s daughter, someone’s mother, someone’s loved one – they aren’t just some body part.

Opt 4 speaking out about this type of obvious sexism and objectification of people!

 

 

Women are making strides in all areas.

Women are being seen as the athletes they are.

The Olympics is an event where people are seen as people, and the only borders are the ones that are decided by the ability of the person or the team.

Let us celebrate the fact that women are making so many strides towards equality.

With our voices, our writing, or abilities, our talents, and our determination…Gender Equality can become a reality!

Because remember – Gender inequality is one of the main risk factors that promote Domestic violence and violence in general. By eradicating gender equality, we can begin the road of healing our society, our culture, and our world of the plague of domestic violence.

What are you doing to promote gender equality?

 

 

This is a landmark moment for women in the Olympics.

It’s pretty amazing that there are so many women competing in so many fields, and as the medals are given out that means many of them will be given to women. What a cool though that truly is.

However, let’s hope there isn’t anymore sexist nonsense coming out of the reporters pens, laptops, and mouths like this article.

(I received this information from a wonderful blog and website: http://iamafeminist.net/   Please go to the site and read the other awesome articles, quotes, and amazing writing)

Sadly, this is an example of minimizing and stereotyping both genders.

This is the article about the US women’s Olympic basketball team.  

1st – Title: Why the US women are beatable

WOW!  I know we are talking about sports and in sports they say and speak in words that denote win and loose, and when you lose you got beat. However, this title alone is AWFUL!!!  I mean, even adding “Olympic Basketball team” would make this better. Instead, on ESPN (a multi-national read and published website and magazine) we have the headline in big bold words stating that: US women have the ability to be beat and here are the reasons why.

This is like a Domestic abuser’s manifesto!  I’m sorry, there are way too many words and phrases to be used in the English language to allow someone to write a title like this, though I am taking it out of context, and think it is ok. This act is deplorable, and the mere act of using this kind of language perpetuates the abuse of 1.5 million people per year. (Yes, that’s an accurate number…sad…but accurate)

2nd – An actual phrase used in the article: “In a women’s game where certain coaches might be sensitive to feelings and emotions and not upsetting the fragile psyche of a young woman”

Are we really still seeing women like this?  Are we really still stereotyping women as sensitive, emotional, and with a fragile psyche?  Was this written in this century?  Please!

Women are and always have been strong, independent, caring, and amazing humans. Like all others of the human race, we are taught how to act, live, and be the people we are. If a person cares or shows more feelings than someone else, it is only because they have been taught that that is allowable. And it should be allowable!  When a feeling is felt, it should be allowed to be expressed and felt.

How dare anyone judge an Olympian on how they show or don’t show their emotions, and at what level they do.

We must end this ridiculous stereotyping of women and men!

3rd: Men stereotyping:  “he brings a man’s mentality to the women’s game in a T-bone and whiskey sort of way.”

This article is talking about the new coach the US Women’s Olympic basketball team. Is this really how we depict people in today’s day and age?

Men are t-bone eating whisky drinking burly people right?  No!

Yes, this is a description of a specific section of the male population, but it is not the norm in any way.  This is a comment on the “male stereotype”. This is a comment on the socialization that our society works to put our boys through so that when they get out of the American male socialization machine, this stereotype will hold true.

This is exactly what the Pinellas County Prevention group is trying to stop. This is exactly what men’s groups all over the world and the United States are trying to eliminate from our culture and our society. This IS NOT the view of men we need to promote in sports, in our society, our community, or even in print.

This entire archaic way of printing, speaking, writing, and view of our world must end.

How do you think we can change these 3 things?

 

 

Nonviolence Now!

The idea of nonviolence is really quite simple….don’t use violence.  Done…Yeah! Problem solved!

The idea of stopping domestic violence is easy, stop hurting the people you love. Done…yeah! Problem solved.

So in order to do this we just tell people don’t be violent, they’ll listen of course, and we go home happy. The world lives in peace, and everything becomes better. Wash you hands and your job is done.

In order to end Domestic violence we just tell every person who is dating, don’t hurt the other person. they agree and promise to do it. Everyone loves the way they live and the world becomes a better place. Domestic violence stops right at that moment.

How easy this sounds…but it doesn’t work this way.  Why?  because the problem is actually baked into our national, cultural, and developmental existence.  See the 6 part series of what promotes violecne and gender inequality.

Peace and Nonviolence is the result…not the way.

The way to nonviolence is simple:

 

 

We must accept everyone for who they are right now, and understand that everything they know and do are from things they were taught.

We, no matter who you are, are socialized to be the people we are by those we grew up with and lived around.  Everything we have ever done in our life, there were others that reinforced the correctness of our actions. therefore, the person who stands in front of you is the creation of hundreds of minutes of acceptance and teaching.

That person, no matter who they are or what they are doing, are doing that because they have been created to do so.

When you accept someone for who they are, and then understand why they are that way……ONLY THEN.…can we begin the process of nonviolence and eventually peace.

An innovative professor, doctor, and author Leo Buscaglia stated that, when we can look past the person and see the humanness in them, we can find that we love all people no matter who they are or what they do.

Humanness is that part of them that is truly human, that part that is not created by a social norm or idea, that part that is not trying to prove something, that part that is truly human and looking for answers to those ever present questions: What is the meaning of my life? How can i be happy?  These are two questions that we must continually ask ourselves, and these questions are the ones we answer with every action of our lives.

At the moment of acceptance and understanding, we see the real person. When we see the real person…we do not see anything but a person looking to be happy and doing the best that they can to achieve that.

Then we may either show them a better way, educate them, or move allowing them to continue searching. if we all took this stand, we could decrease violence insurmountable!

That is how we can end violence and end domestic violence.  Educate all children to see everyone as a human being, as a person, as a person just the same as everyone else…looking for happiness.

Then we educate all children to see the world as a world of acceptance and understanding rather than a world of expectations and promises.

In the end, if a person sees a person’s human side and understands them, it makes sense they will treat them with kindness, respect, and strive to help the other person. For it is obvious, the more you try to help others, the more you help yourself.

 

In march, I wrote about Lady Gaga’s “Born this way” Foundation.

Now I introduce some amazing things they are now doing.

Their entire mission, according to their website, is to:

Foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.

We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, to be empowered and to make a difference in the world. Together, we will move towards acceptance, bravery and love.

How amazing is that?  An entire group formed and ready to change the way people see people. I know i hear many of you yelling…Finally!!!!

To continue their mission they have created three pillars they are working on:

The coolest part is that YOU can do something to help this, and even lead this in your world, community, school, or center.

You have the ability to be part of the founding members to create the “Born Brave Nation”. By doing this, you then start creating change and develop your community into a world that is based on these pillars of change and acceptance.

What a great opportunity.

Not only that….if you go to office depot and buy any of the Born This Way foundation supplies, not only will you help out the foundation by 25% of your sales going to them…but you also have the ability to be a reptrestitive of the world you’re trying to create.

Opt 4 a world where there are more foundations just like this.

Opt 4 a world where we have no need for such foundations.

Opt 4 a world where we see the change we are making, and all embrace it.

 

 

Let’s start simply…I’m a man.

I had a pretty crummy time growing up knowing that I was socialized to be a “man’s man” and like john Wayne and see women as body parts and such. I knew this was happening, but everyone told me it was normal and ok.

I knew it wasn’t…..but when you’re alone and you’re 6…you do what everyone else is doing.

Flash forward – I have a son and 2 daughters.

I begin raising them exact like I believe kids need to be raised. I teach them about gender equality. I let them choose their clothes, their toys, the colors they enjoy – etc, etc.

At a young age they begin to speak out on the inequality of women’s clothing. They see the problems with calling an adult spider-“man” and another adult spider-“girl”. They don’t utter words such as “like a girl” or any gender based nonsense.

One of my daughters loves peace signs and wants to promote peace and non-animal-cruelty tot he world.

One of my daughters loves the world and wants to create the world into a conscious living organism for understanding.

Both of my daughters (1 in 5th grade, 1 in 6th grade) are accepted by their friends, and the boys just look at them as that’s who they are. One boys said, well girls are like that and it’s pretty cool.

Then we have my son…he’s confused!   Why you ask.

My son loves pink, hates fighting, thinks there’s way to solve problems without anger, thinks football is too violent (not my influence thank you), and wants to play games that involve vehicles with tires (trucks, cars, bikes, skateboards, etc).

Mid-way in the 1st month of 2nd grade he dresses himself in his new pick shoes, pink pig shirt (btw – he loves pigs), and his light up shoes. He got teased by the other boys mercilessly for liking pink, liking pigs, and not wrestling with everyone else.  By the time I found out about this, a month later, many things had come up. Suddenly my son was different – he wanted to fight and hit all the time. He hated his pig shirts and pink (he even changed his favorite color to red…but kept a secret drawer of pink things and pigs). In the middle of playing catch he yelled at me (in front of his sisters) you throw like a girl you little woussy. We all were shocked…but I took it as a compliment since one of my daughters can throw a heater that would tear your hand off.  Little by little he wanted to be more and more violent, he wanted to play football, but hated learning it. When I finally asked what was going on….I heard about all the problems.

He was girly. He was soft. He was (enter every derogatory gay term in existence). He was dumb. Because he didn’t fall into the same norms, he was mercilessly teased…so he changed. OUCH!  For more of his experiences check out “why does it have to be this way”.

Then one of my daughters suddenly wanted to shave herself….she’s 11 and has hair on her legs and under her arms. She began to cite all the same nonsense I’ve heard women say for years…the same societal training that all women get about hair and what looks good and what doesn’t. Then her shorts were hiked up 2 inches. Her shirt was tied at her waist. The other daughter followed suite….

Augggggghhhhhhhh!!!!  My children have gone crazy!!!!

Nope….this is the power of peers!

Every parent in the world knows the power of peer pressure. It can change clothes, the way a person acts, and even turn a law abiding citizen into a jail bound thug.

Humans, whether we want to accept it or not, inherently know that we are part of a larger community. We subconsciously know that we are part of a global community of people all around us. Just looking at a picture of masses of people walking down the street in New york, you have an overwhelming sense that in some way they are like you and you are part of what we call human kind. In addition to that, our brains break down the idea that we are in a global community, a continental community, a country community, a state community, a county and city community, and a local community. We also see ourselves as part of our parents and groups of friends community and lives.

Though we know this deep down, we want to feel accepted in all those communities as well. As children, the first communities we see that we are part of is our family. This family dynamic is extremely important because it is a microcosm to the outside world at large. The family dynamic teaches us morals, values, and accepted beliefs of our world at large. When we leave the family unit…we go holding on these ideas and thoughts that were taught to us in our family unit.

However, that familiar sense of belonging starts to nag at us. We are not individuals alone on this planet, we are part of this class, and this group of people. We want to be accepted by classmates, teachers, and everyone around us. But when they are thinking differently than us..it becomes difficult.

We as an American culture, and as a global culture, do not teach the idea of understanding and acceptance. This would be the idea that everyone is different. However, these differences are what makes all people neat and awesome. We must celebrate these differences and accept the people who have them as wonderful points of light ready to light the world.

Instead we teach, your way is right and others’ ways are wrong. You are a light unto yourself and you must shine brighter than anyone else. A familiar adage is “lead or get out of the way.”

Therefore, when our children go into a group of students in a class…and they aren’t being accepted because of their “different” views…they have a choice: Change or be alone and teased.

Most people change!

This is where this 6 part series all comes together!

With the media, society, and the cultures all saying the same thing – the children are taught these things as well.

These children that have been taught by all these factors then go out into the world of school. They find other students that don’t buy into the norm and in order to validate themselves and their own beliefs force the people who don’t buy into the norm…into being like everyone else. Some people see this as a favor to the children. Some do it because different is not acceptable.  Some do it to make their own questions of the ideals they uphold make more sense or simply go away.

We are teaching our children that violence, violence against women, and gender inequality are ok in so many different medias, forms, and ways – they are bullied and forced to see the world that way.

In the end, if we don’t change the other factors raising our children in thinking the correct way gets harder and harder because of the constant peer pressure.

Then we decide that we must end bullying, but we don’t teach acceptance and understanding…instead we teach: Don’t bully!

In order to justify oneself about what they’ve been taught and believe, a student must get others to think like them. They must work on creating  their own community and culture of understanding or group that they can feel they belong to. When they are taught that violence is ok and the right way of doing things, these same people use violence to create this community of people thinking the same. The obvious response is power and control which turns into abuse, violence, and bullying!

In the adult world it turns into oppression, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, rape, atrocities towards other human beings, and war!

We must end this violence against women.

We must end bullying of all kinds.

We must end the abuse of power and control.

We must eliminate violence of all kinds.

AND

We must promote healthy relationships.

We must promote understanding and acceptance.

We must begin teaching understanding and acceptance of all experiences and people.

We have all heard the old adage…”You are what you eat.” This phrase was created and popularized in the 1920s and 30s by Nutritionists Victor Lindlahr, who was a strong believer in the idea that food controls health –  he was quoted as saying in a newspaper article:

“Ninety per cent of the diseases known to man are caused by cheap foodstuffs. You are what you eat.”

The whole point of this phrase was to get people to look at the things they ate and realize that there is a direct correlation between what you eat and your health.

In 2012, we look at this and laugh…..isn’t this an obvious statement?  Of course it is. When you consume garbage, your body becomes garbage. Fried foods, fat, grease, will congeal just like it does in your house pipes and stop up the whole work creating things like heart disease, stroke, etc.

This is great for food…and most people get it, even thought they might not practice it. However, what most people don’t realize is that it’s the same with all things we consume.

So what does consume mean – Dictionary.com says its to absorb, digest, or take into your body.

Let us step back for a moment…digest does not just mean through your stomach. Digest means taking anything into your body through any of your 5 senses.

So to give us a working definition of Consume would be: anything we take into our body through our 5 senses.

Whatever we consume through our mouth (food), eyes (what we watch and see), feelings (what we feel), nose (what we smell…BTW – smell memory is more powerful than any other memory we have), and our ears (what we hear) imprints onto our conscious and subconscious brains and create what and who we are and how we think.

If consuming is so vastly important, then we should constantly be paying attention to what we are consuming on a daily basis.

This is the beginning of a 6 part series (this one included) about how our consumption dictates how we act, feel, and react to life and everything that happens in our life.

By taking notice of our daily consumption, we see that our daily consumption is one of the main factors that promote violence, lack of self-esteem, socialization, and gender inequality.

In addition to this, our brains are most susceptible at specific ages to this influence of consumption…those times are:

0-2 – Our brains are a sponge and everything we consume at every minute is imprinted on our brain as rules, laws, and reality. Our brain has none of the filters it will develop, and everything flows in without any checks and balances.

6-8 – We are entering a new era at this age. the filters have begin to be created, and our identity is starting to be developed.

11-16 – The only time in our life that our mind is as spongy as 0-2. The pituitary gland in in full working order, and it is lighting up our brain to imprint EVERYTHING we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. This is learning times 100 during this age.

The scariest part is that these are the ages that there is a phenomenal lack of human interactions, parental didactic training, and an increase in mulch-media influences. These are the ages when TV, computers, cell phones, etc begin to creep in and create realities!

Consumption is the number 1 way we learn and become who we are. Humans are observational learners, that’s why we have lived as long as we have on this planet. This is why our scientific method (considered one of the greatest discoveries of human existence like the printing press) is our keystone of learning.

By watching our consumption, we can recreate our minds and the way we see the world. By watching others how to control and change their consumption, they too can recreate their minds and change the way they see the world. When everyone sees the world in a different way – the world changes.

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